Monday, December 28, 2009

The Best Gift Ever

(Okay, okay, the best gifts ever are clearly my two kiddos and my hubby, but here I'm going to talk about material gifts received for Christmas this year.)

I am not a big fan of getting gifts. Or giving gifts, for that matter. I just feel like we all have so much stuff, and I hate getting (or giving) useless things just because it's expected. We certainly don't need more stuff cluttering up are already over-cluttered house, that's for sure.

I do like useful gifts, and every year at Christmas, I'm able to come up with a short list of things that I'd like to get. This year, for example, it was a set of heavy-duty (18/10) measuring cups and measuring spoons, a Silpat, and a Lodge enameled cast iron dutch oven. (It's certainly easier to come up with a list now that I spend so much of my time cooking!) And every once in a while, someone who knows me really well can pick out something that I didn't ask for, but that I love anyway; this year, hubby surprised me with a gorgeous new food processor. (The old one had so many chipped or broken parts that I almost never used it.)

But this year, my sister-in-law surprised me with an immersion blender, something I never would have thought I needed. I love it. I mean, I really, really love it. I have been using it every day since it arrived to make the kids a special "shake." We used to make this "shake" (it's really a smoothie; no ice cream involved) only on special occasions, when we felt like dragging out the blender, fighting with it to get it to work (it has many broken pieces, too), and cleaning all of the millions of parts.

With the immersion blender, I slice a cup of frozen strawberries and half of a banana, add a cup of vanilla yogurt, and blend for a minute. It is so easy. And the clean-up? Rinse off the blade part of the blender, wash two cups, a spoon, a measuring cup, a knife, and the mixing cup that came with the blender.

The kids are in heaven with this oh-so-special dessert-like treat...which is filled with ingredients that I would give them any day of the week for any meal.


  1. All great ideas....even the immersion blender! Easy to use AND clean up~ Just used mine right in the hot creamy tomato soup to make it smooth and creamy....

  2. I want one!!! I've been putting it for other purchases but now I think I need to go buy one.

  3. You are way ahead of me on the BBA--Got sidetracked by food Friday and other social cooking events. I've got a few BBA favorites: Bagels, Brioche and Artos (I agree it Rocks for French toast) and have tried the ciabatta twice with disappointing results (no fancy bubbles). Next up: Cinnamon and sticky buns for New Year's Day brunch. Keep on baking! (Also would love an immersion blender for Broccoli Mascarpone Soup)

  4. I gave a Cuisinart immersion blender for my husband, and we are both totally in love with it!

    I haven't pureed a soup yet, but the thing goes through frozen strawberries in a milisecond! Unbelieavable...

    happy new year!

  5. Here in Germany immersion blenders are really common to have. I think, most people get it when they have a baby. At least, that's the time when I got mine. I used it to purée potatoes and vegetables for the babyfood so I wouldn't have to get the store-bought baby-food jars. Easy-peasy and sooo convenient. Nowadays that my kids are older (2, 4 and 6), I use it for soups and smoothies quite regularly. I will try your strawberry-banana-yoghurt smoothie. That sounds like something my kids will be hooked on!!!!